Ice puts drivers into ditchesSeven vehicles slid into a ditch off of Interstate 94 between Dickinson and Gladstone early Thursday morning due to a combination of ice and low visibility, officials said. No one was injured and no damage was reported.
By: By April Baumgarten , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
DICKINSON, N.D. — Seven vehicles slid into a ditch off of Interstate 94 between Dickinson and Gladstone early Thursday morning due to a combination of ice and low visibility, officials said. No one was injured and no damage was reported.
“We kind of had the whole gamut this morning,” said Sgt. Will Vance, North Dakota Highway Patrol. “When you start getting into that slush, it can toss your vehicle around, make steering difficult and take you places you didn’t intend on going.”
A trace amount of snow fell around 7 a.m. and melted on the road, AccuWeather meteorologist Brian Edwards said. Vance added the snow compacted into ice and turned into slush.
The accidents occurred between 7:45 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., according to the Highway Patrol.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation had the accidents cleaned up within two hours, Vance said.
Travel advisories had not been issued for I-94 between Dickinson and Gladstone, according to the DOT.
The Dickinson area hasn’t had much of a winter, Edwards said. While some people are happy about it, others are questioning forecasts.
“Indications were that it could be a nasty winter,” Edwards said. “Other people are wondering why that didn’t work out like that.”
There is a chance of snow showers today, according to AccuWeather. Temperatures should warm up to 38 degrees by Saturday. The forecast is calling for partially cloudy skies with temperatures ranging between 40 degrees and 54 degrees into next week.
It can be hard sometimes to tell if road conditions are icy, especially when there is black ice on the roads, Vance said.
“The biggest thing is a person is going to have to slow down and allow more time (for traveling),” Vance said. “Most of them are driving too fast for conditions.”
Vance said drivers should also increase their following distance and avoid using their cruise control. He added headlights should be turned on in foggy conditions.
“Take it for granted that it could be icy,” he said.
April Baumgarten is a reporter at The Dickinson (N.D.) Press, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.